Super-confident Hibs kid Jason Cummings today revealed how he once used to be a bag of nerves before matches.
After being plucked from Hutchison Vale Boys Club, the 19-year-old is barely into his second season with Hibs, seemingly a cheeky, happy-go-lucky young lad with a quip for every occasion.
But this time last year, he has admitted, it was a different story as his sensational scoring record for the Easter Road club’s Under-20 side propelled him towards a regular place in the first team squad.
Named as the SPFL Championship’s young player of the month, Cummings said: “Last season I was just getting into it and I was a bit nervous when I was coming on and playing in front of big crowds.
“Now I’ve a full season behind me and a few appearances, I’m full of confidence and just want to play and show people what I can do. I feel I have come on a lot, I’ve learned a lot from the new management team.”
The fairytale story – Cummings was working as a gardener only 15 months ago – may have taken everyone by surprise, but not Hibs boss Alan Stubbs who was at New Douglas Park at the end of last season to see the teenage hitman claim two stunning goals in the first leg of the Capital club’s play-off against Hamilton.
Stubbs, however, warned that Cummings still needs to be treated with kid gloves despite his meteoric rise, the head coach having claimed only a few weeks ago that he felt his young player wasn’t yet ready to start every match and would have to be content with a seat on the bench.
Stubbs said: “With young lads it’s very easy to just throw them in and then expect too much too soon. We’ve seen the effects of that with a couple of other young players and you’ve got to make sure that what you’re doing is in the best interests of the players in the long-term rather than the short-term. We’ve got Jason for three or four years and it has to be right. You have to be able to drop him in at the right time and pull him out at the right time, and that’s all part of managing him.”